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Sports Talk: This Machado hits 500 and keeps on going

The name is Machado, the game is baseball so by any chance …

“I tell people all the time he’s my cousin,” Justin Machado, La Costa Canyon High’s baseball coach, said with a wink. Manny Machado is the Padres slugger with the staggering $300 million contract. Still LCC’s Machado recently hitting the 500 mark is equally as impressive. That’s wins at LCC, not dollars, and that’s fine. “Where else would I have it better than out here on this field,” Machado said. Machado, LCC’s lone coach in its 23 seasons, has it pointed toward the CIF San Diego Section playoffs, which start next week. LCC has won three CIF titles and no telling if No. 4 is on the horizon. What’s clear as the pristine infield Machado religiously manicures is he’s doing something right.

While rivals swear at drawing LCC in the postseason, Machado’s players and coaches swear by him. “He’s the most fun coach I’ve ever played for,” said Spencer Jones, the Mavericks’ standout two-way player. “It’s always a low-stress environment and he lets the players play.” Joey Burke, an assistance coach and former Maverick, agreed. “He’s got a ton of patience and he’s out there having fun,” he said. Once the LCC diamond was a patch of brown grass lacking an outfield fence with convertible dugouts — no tops. But the gem was Machado, a baseball-lifer possessing a dream and a fungo. Baseball stirred his passion after playing at San Dieguito, MiraCosta College and Sonoma State. At MiraCosta he learned under the hard-nosed John Seeley. “He was a disciplinarian,” Machado said. “You had to run three miles in 21 minutes and do six 40-yard sprints before he gave you your uniform.” At Sonoma State John Goelz was in charge.

“He was more relaxed,” Machado said. “I think I took more after him.” It was there Machado, 48, embraced the idea of coaching. He directed San Dieguito’s JV team after college and then applied for the LCC job. “I got it and a year later I became a teacher, too,” he said. Making baseball a joy is easy. Economics? “He makes it a fun class,” Jones said. “Even first thing in the morning he has that energy and is just someone who’s easy to talk to.” Machado eventually talked his father, Jim, into constructing dugout roofs. Others contributed blood, sweat, tears and funds to transform the field with a 1,000 bad hops into one with seldom a blade out of place. “It’s incredible how he loves working on the field,” Burke said. “He wants it just right for the parents, players, fans and for them to see how nice of a place this is.”

It’s advanced countless players into the college and pro ranks. Mickey Moniak was the 2016 draft’s No. 1 overall pick by the Phillies. Machado never gets his fill of baseball, but he recognizes its harsh realities. It’s a game constructed around failure. Slumps invariably arrive. “He has a way that when players get frustrated he calms them down,” Burke said. “He reminds them of the good things they’ve done and to forget about the bad things.” The ying-and-yang of coaching teenagers hits home for Machado as his son, Austin, is among LCC’s top players. It’s yet another chapter in a coaching tome that is still being written. “I’m having a fun,” he said. “I wouldn’t quit unless I got bored.” Speaking of boards, there’s yet another Machado. Rob Machado, Justin’s brother, is an iconic surfer living around the corner from his sibling in Cardiff. Rob hears plenty about Justin, who’s been named the California Coaches Association’s baseball coach of the year. Justin encourages his crew to give Rob the needle. “I tell them to say, ‘Hey, I know your brother,”’ Justin said. It’s the one that knows baseball and it’s true it hasn’t provided Justin with a $300 million deal. But he’s wealthy in other ways, some that are not so easily quantified in his economics class.

La Costa Canyon learns to rally back this season

Trailing by six runs with one out in the top of the sixth inning, La Costa Canyon was headed for its third straight loss. But the next seven batters reached base with six scoring to tie the game.

La Costa Canyon Baseball Coach Reaches Milestone Win

When Justin Machado took over as baseball coach at La Costa Canyon High 23 years ago, he was “just hoping to have a job the next season.” Friday, after 23 years of next seasons, Machado recorded his 500th win as Mavericks coach, a 10-0 victory over Vista that runs his career record to 500-208-2. “It’s insane, crazy, pretty darn special,” Machado said. “And my son (Austin) was catching, so it was even more special. “He wasn’t even born when I started. And for years, he was running around the field causing trouble.” Machado has built a family atmosphere at LCC. For years, his wife Jamie sold concessions out of a cooler. She is at nearly every game.

Baseball: La Costa Canyon 10, Vista 0

It was the ideal way to pick up career win #500 for La Costa Canyon’s Justin Machado. Your most recent star player sparks the offense and your starting pitcher plays lights out on the mound. If only there was one more angle to this story, like, maybe having your son in the starting lineup. Well, that was exactly the fairytale ending to the Mavericks’ 10-0 win over Vista on Friday afternoon.

La Costa Canyon Pitcher Stunning the Scouts

Spencer Jones earned a reputation as a hitter — a big, strong lefty with a beautiful stroke, power and speed.

Then La Costa Canyon High baseball coach Justin Machado — short on pitching in the middle of last season’s Lions Tournament — decided to give the 6-foot-7 Jones a pitching start against No. 1-ranked Eastlake in front of about 25 major league scouts who had come to see Titans right-hander Grant Holman.

Phillies Take La Costa’s Moniak No. 1 in Draft

La Costa Canyon player is fifth San Diegan drafted first overall and first high school outfielder in 13 years selected first. With the first pick …San Diego-area players selected first overall in the MLB Draft: 2016—Mickey Moniak, La Costa Canyon, OF, Phillies: Gatorade State Player of the Year batted .476 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for the Mavericks.2014—Brady Aiken, Cathedral Catholic, LHP, Astros: Did not sign after medical issue arose.

All-USA Watch: Potential first-round pick Mickey Moniak has been money at the plate for La Costa Canyon (calif.)

Some athletes find their way to baseball but La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) center fielder Mickey Moniak was born to play the game.Begin with the alliterative name that reminds one of the great Yankees center fielder Mickey Mantle (though Moniak wasn’t named for Mantle). Add in lineage, with his father, Matt, playing baseball for San Diego State and …

La Costa Canyon’s Evans Joins Mets Farm System

Mavericks shortstop decides on a professional career over an SDSU scholarship after lucrative offer from New York.
Tony Gwynn and his San Diego State baseball program just couldn’t compete with the New York Mets’ big check book. Phillip Evans, who earned All-CIF honors at shortstop for La Costa Canyon High as a senior this spring, has signed a lucrative pro contract…

PREP BASEBALL: A Q&A with La Costa Canyon Baseball Player Phillip Evans

Phillip Evans
School: La Costa Canyon
Sport: Baseball
Position: Shortstop

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